I have a theory that dementia, perhaps even Alzheimers, is caused by a lack of mental growth.
So what can be done to avoid getting dementia and Alzheimers? To answer that question we need look to those individuals with tremendous mental growth … we need to look to children.
Think about, say, a 3 year old child. Every day hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new information enters through all five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Every day he experiences things that he has never experienced in his life.
Contrast with adults. There is probably not a single thing that we see, smell, touch, hear, or taste that we haven’t already experienced before, hundreds or thousands of times.
No new input = no mental growth.
No mental growth = stagnation (a.k.a. dementia, Alzheimers).
Can we be like a child again? That is, can we put ourselves in situations where we are confronted with sights, smells, feelings, sounds, tastes that we have never experienced before? And can we do that every day? (And still have a job)
A friend, somewhat jokingly suggested:
I don’t know anything about boating. If someone were to drop me into a boat in the middle of the ocean, then I would be forced to quickly learn about navigation, ocean currents, weather, and a bunch of other things very quickly. I’d probably die.
I’d prefer not to be in situations where I might die.
I want to hear your thoughts on this: how do you put yourself in absolutely new situations?